Shade garden

There was a lovely little spot when we moved into this place off the patio, near the stream and under a Viburnum ‘Summer Snowflake’ and a Magnolia Stella, which in turn are north of a huge stand of Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) that shelter the deck and hot tub area.  There were a couple of overgrown Berberis thunbergii ‘Lime Glow’ there that were languishing in dense shade and low overhangs.  The Berberis came out early in the Spring and are happily ensconced in the sunny front garden. Time to complete a shade garden back here…ah…dizzy with possibilities!

So far, we’re looking at Myosotis sylvatica scattered through (roughly from left to right): Epimedium, Ajuga, Alchemilla Mollis, Adiantum aleuticum, Adiantum venustrum, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Emerald Mist’, Chaenophyllum hirsutum ‘Roseum’, Campanula poshanskyana, Corydalis lutea, Anenome nemoroso, NoID Hosta, Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’, Epidmedium wushanense, Syneilesis aconitifolium, Beesia, Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’, Trillium, Dodecatheon meadia, Erythronium oregonium, Some so far tiny red Primula Japonica….phew. That’s about it!!


The overall bed…maybe 10’x 5′. Under the shade of the Viburnum ‘Summer Snowflake’ and Magnolia stellata. 


The close-ups:

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’. Oh my but this plant is lovely.
Beesia – this plant has been sitting in a pot for two years as I fuss with where it belongs. It belongs here…happy to spread its roots finally.
Hosta ‘Elegans’ I think….lots of growing to do. Those leaves get huge!! And much, much bluer. Fingers crossed the slugs and deer don’t find it here!
This Trillium ovatum has been blooming around for weeks. It started out white and has slowly turned burgundy.
Dodecatheon meadia (Shooting Star) is a lovely little native wildflower that is surprisingly easy to grow.
This Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ might one day wind through the Magnolia stellata…making the tree ‘bloom’ in the summer too. You can see the Magnolia flowers are littering the bed.
Hacquetia epipactis. I just spotted this at the local Hort Society plant sale. It looks interesting…we’ll see. I just couldn’t resist the promise of yellow/lime green/chartreuse early spring flowers!!
Hmmmmm….can’t for the life of me remember what the heck this is???
NoID Hosta dug up from a recent tear down in Dunbar, Vancouver with Myosotis (Forget-me-not)
Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ doesn’t look like much….yet!  It will be glorious!
Campanula poshanskyana
Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s mantle)
Alchemilla mollis variegated. Let’s hope the variegation is stable.
Asplenium scolopendrium (Harts tongue fern). I scored this for $1 at the local Hort Society sale….to replace the one I lost this winter. Fingers crossed.
A super favourite. Syneilesis aconitifolium. (Shredded umbrella plant). It just wasn’t in the right spot last year, so I divided the tiny little thing and am trying in two different, but equally shady spots. More fingers crossed!
Gotta love Brunnera macrophylla ‘Emerald Mist’ because it’s lovely, but especially because the deer don’t!!!
Adiantum venustrum is stealing my heart thanks to the recommendation from Free Spirit Nursery in Langley as it weaves its delicate way through, around and under the rest of the bed. Lovely! Delicate!! Lime-ish!! Very happy with this one. Only starting its second year and knitting things together already. Above are the burgundy leaves of an Epimedium wushanense and the Podophyllum grabbing more spotlight!
Heuchera ‘Carnival coffee bean’
Leucothoe axillaris ‘Little Flames’ – a compact, evergreen, shade shrub that produces fiery red new shoots. Sadly last year’s new shoots were bitten off by the frost/snow/cold over the winter, but Leucothoe clearly lives to shoot again!
Adiantum aleuticum imbracatum (Dwarf Maidenhair Fern)
Epimedium wushanense found at the UBC Botanical Garden plant sale last year. A spectacular sale that was sadly ‘cancelled’ this year because it didn’t make enough money to be worthwhile (?) and the volunteers are getting too old to endure the long days of the setup, sale and strike down. Sigh. Time for a fresh crop of volunteers, I fear.

Author: joannewesterby

Although I lived in Ontario for 25 years, Vancouver Island has always been home to me. 15 years ago we bought a "little house on the prairie" in Brant County, just outside Hamilton, Ancaster and Brantford, Ontario. Over the years, with a lot of sweat, determination, luck, skill, frustration, elation and endurance we turned that 2 acre clay field into an amazing chronicled in Through Leaves. When we recently retired we immediately came back 'home' to the Coast. We have settled in beautiful central Vancouver Island at the edge of Nanaimo on 1/2 acre with a mature shrub garden adjacent to a ravine that winds its way up to Westwood Lake and eventually Mount Benson. Although the garden is mature and is very overgrown, too homogenous for my liking and needs my personal stamp! I am dizzy with the possibilities!!!

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